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Author Topic: We're doomed.  (Read 7607 times)
Hawkmoon
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« on: March 14, 2017, 08:36:14 PM »

Again? Still?

Time is running out. Literally. Kids can't tell time.

http://kfor.com/2017/03/12/study-4-in-5-oklahoma-city-students-cant-read-clocks/

Thanks (?) to the proliferation of digital devices, 80 percent of kids 6 to 12 in Oklahoma City don't know how to tell time on an analog clock. I find that ironic, because I prefer analog clocks for the simple reason that I can tell the time by looking at it -- no need to, like, read it.

I think we learned to tell time in the second or third grade. That would have been age 7 or 8.
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RoadKingLarry
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« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2017, 09:32:26 PM »

Oklahoma City is kind of screwed up to begin with.
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230RN
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« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2017, 02:19:51 AM »

"It's a quarter to five."

"Huh?"

I agree about being able to tell the time with a single glance, as opposed to "actively reading" a digital.  That's why I only use wrist watches with great big hands.

"Huh?  Wrist watch?  What's that?"

"That big honkin' thing on my wrist."

"Why don't you just look at your phone?"

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Mike Irwin
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« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2017, 03:19:06 AM »

Back in the early 1980s digital watches, clocks, and the like were really just starting to come down in price and starting to come into vogue.

I had gotten a new digital watch, and I was talking with a friend when he saw it and commented that he didn't like them because in his mind he had to translate the numbers into hand positions on the face of an analog clock to get a sense for what time it really was.

Since then I've met a number of people who are the same way. Generally they're all older and grew up with analog clocks.

I can honestly say that I've never had that problem. I feel equally comfortable that I know what time it is no matter whether it's digital output or analog hand positions.
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« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2017, 03:20:33 AM »

I can honestly say that I've never had that problem. I feel equally comfortable that I know what time it is no matter whether it's digital output or analog hand positions.

Yo tambien.
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« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2017, 03:50:27 AM »

Oklahoma City is kind of screwed up to begin with.

That is an understatement.
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230RN
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« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2017, 04:12:57 AM »


...
I can honestly say that I've never had that problem. I feel equally comfortable that I know what time it is no matter whether it's digital output or analog hand positions.

I'm the same way, equally facile with getting a sense of the time with either; 4:45 comes across quantitatively the same as quarter to five, but it's easier and faster <ahem> "data acquisition" with a clock face.  WRT wrist watches, I can be involved with something (like driving, eating, or soldering a joint) and still tell the time out of the corner of my eye.

I guess you could call me biclockival.

Well, you know, like bilingual.

Oh, never mind.

My coffee's finally ready.

Terry
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Nick1911
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« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2017, 05:07:19 AM »

/shrug/

Time marches on.  Common skillsets change with needs and technology.
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« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2017, 05:15:43 AM »

I guess you could call me biclockival.

Well, you know, like bilingual.



Ambihorological?
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« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2017, 05:41:47 AM »

I also have no problem going back and forth. I wonder how much of the problem is the part of the brain that does math vs the part of the brain that does visual perception? I have one of those nerd clocks I used to keep in my office at work that shows each analog number as a math formula. I had a few instances of people who could read an analog clock that would hesitate when they looked at it to check the time.

I always thought that was interesting, because to me, telling time on an analog clock is all about knowing the position of the hands and has nothing to do with the numbers. In German, it's common to say, "quarter past three", but instead of saying "quarter to four", you say, "three quarters of four". Though you can also say something like "fifteen hours forty five".
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« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2017, 06:19:00 AM »

I started wearing digital watches when I was, I think, eight years old. I was never very good at reading analog clocks until I stopped wearing digital on my wrist, and even then it took several years before it was second nature.


I always thought that was interesting, because to me, telling time on an analog clock is all about knowing the position of the hands and has nothing to do with the numbers.

Until you come across one of those govt-issue clocks with a 24-hour dial.


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"The ears of our generation have been made so delicate by the senseless multitude of flatterers that, as soon as we perceive that anything of ours is not approved of, we cry out that we are being bitterly assailed; and when we can repel the truth by no other pretense, we escape by attributing bitterness, impatience, intemperance, to our adversaries."
--Martin Luther, On Christian Liberty
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« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2017, 06:43:01 AM »

Again? Still?

Time is running out. Literally. Kids can't tell time.

http://kfor.com/2017/03/12/study-4-in-5-oklahoma-city-students-cant-read-clocks/

Thanks (?) to the proliferation of digital devices, 80 percent of kids 6 to 12 in Oklahoma City don't know how to tell time on an analog clock. I find that ironic, because I prefer analog clocks for the simple reason that I can tell the time by looking at it -- no need to, like, read it.

I think we learned to tell time in the second or third grade. That would have been age 7 or 8.

Astrolabe. Sextant. Sundial. I mean a proper sundial, not the garden type. In a proper language like Greek or Latin. No stickin' newfangled foreign numbers stolen from Arabia, who stole it from India. I mean, do you kids today even know what type of stone to use to polarize light so that you can read the Sun on a partially cloudy day?

Same exact situation. Technology changes. Analog clocks hold no inherient superiority or usefulness to digital numbering, electric or not.

Were kids of your generation, likely HIGHER than 80%, being unable to operate those devices?
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Hawkmoon
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« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2017, 06:49:32 AM »

Were kids of your generation, likely HIGHER than 80%, being unable to operate those devices?

Except that older analog clocks and watches don't need batteries.

Of course, you have to remember to wind them. Before the creation of self-winding watches, part of the routine of going to bed was to wind the alarm clock and then wind your wrist watch. The wall clock in my parents' dining room got wound once a week, on Sunday. Most of you youngsters have probably seen wind-up clocks and watches only in museums.
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Mike Irwin
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« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2017, 07:02:19 AM »

The astrolabe and sextant were highly specialized tools that were NOT used by the common individual. They were expensive, and they required more than the ability to count to use.

Clocks, on the other hand, have been in common circulation in one form or another and available to just about everyone at some point during their day since the middle 1700s, and starting in the late 1800s clocks became cheap enough, reliable enough, and common enough that they became virtually ubiquitous.

How to tell time on the clock face was being taught commonly in American schools before the Civil War.

In 1970 when I was in kindergarten we each had a little clock that we assembled ourselves that we used to learn how to tell time. You can also buy similar things ready made by Plaskool and other kids manufacturers.

I'm not 100% sure, but I don't think there's every been "Kiddy's First Astrolabe" available from any of them.

I really suspect that this is less a change in technology and more a change in focus given the increasing diminishment of standards of education in the United States.



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Ben
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« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2017, 07:03:19 AM »

Except that older analog clocks and watches don't need batteries.

Of course, you have to remember to wind them. Before the creation of self-winding watches, part of the routine of going to bed was to wind the alarm clock and then wind your wrist watch. The wall clock in my parents' dining room got wound once a week, on Sunday. Most of you youngsters have probably seen wind-up clocks and watches only in museums.

Heh. I remember those. I think that was the first bedroom clock my parents got me. I can't remember how good (or not) I was about keeping it wound. Thank goodness for "time"* on the telephone.  laugh

I don't think when growing up, we ever got any of the first "digital" clocks, which were pre-LED and just had "rolling" numbers. My parents didn't buy a digital until the LEDs came out. Though even now, my dad only uses analog clocks.


*Does anyone else remember calling "time" on the telephone, pre-NIST on the Interwebz? I wonder if that even exists anymore.
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mtnbkr
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« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2017, 07:03:33 AM »

Except that older analog clocks and watches don't need batteries.

Of course, you have to remember to wind them. Before the creation of self-winding watches, part of the routine of going to bed was to wind the alarm clock and then wind your wrist watch. The wall clock in my parents' dining room got wound once a week, on Sunday. Most of you youngsters have probably seen wind-up clocks and watches only in museums.

And your point?  Wind-up (manual or automatic) clocks and watches require maintenance or they stop working.  People able to perform such maintenance are becoming rare.  A wind-up watch has, without maintenance, a finite accurate timekeeping lifespan (my Seiko automatic lasted about 10 years before it struggled).  Digital watches effectively don't wear out except for battery changes (I've had them last upwards of a decade) and are more accurate.  Battery changes are quicker, easier, and more foolproof than mechanical watch servicing.  $2 battery vs $100 service.  $100 in batteries would keep the watch going centuries after I'm gone (50 batteries at 10yrs per, give or take).

I personally prefer the aesthetics of an analog watch or clock, but there's no quantitative measure that shows them as superior timepieces.

Oh, and I'm 43, so I don't know if that makes me a "youngster" or not. 

Chris
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RevDisk
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« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2017, 07:05:28 AM »

Except that older analog clocks and watches don't need batteries.

Of course, you have to remember to wind them. Before the creation of self-winding watches, part of the routine of going to bed was to wind the alarm clock and then wind your wrist watch. The wall clock in my parents' dining room got wound once a week, on Sunday. Most of you youngsters have probably seen wind-up clocks and watches only in museums.

An extremely large number of analog clocks are electric. Probably the majority of them, except for watches that are clearly fashion statements moreso than timepieces.

Also, you can make a digital clock that is non-electric. Rare as hell, but it's obviously mechanically possible.
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« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2017, 07:05:46 AM »

In 1970 when I was in kindergarten we each had a little clock that we assembled ourselves that we used to learn how to tell time. You can also buy similar things ready made by Plaskool and other kids manufacturers.

That's a really good point. I bought my now 4 year old grand niece one of those Playskool "learn the clock" things a couple of years ago. So somehow the idea that we should know analog is still around.
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« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2017, 07:11:45 AM »

That's a really good point. I bought my now 4 year old grand niece one of those Playskool "learn the clock" things a couple of years ago. So somehow the idea that we should know analog is still around.

Both my kids were taught how to read analog clocks in elementary school.

Chris
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Mike Irwin
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« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2017, 07:39:15 AM »

There are solar-powered digital clocks that require no external batteries and very little solar radiation to keep their internal battery charged.

Let's also not forget that there are digital clocks that display both the traditional analog dial and digital time: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=style_7.analoganddigitalclockaw_7


"And your point?  Wind-up (manual or automatic) clocks and watches require maintenance or they stop working.  People able to perform such maintenance are becoming rare."

Yep, it's getting harder and harder to find people who can service old mechanical clocks. I know of three in the northern Virginia area, and it is NOT cheap by any stretch of the imagination.

I have several old mechanical clocks that have come down through the family, one a mantle clock from the 1880s and another a wind up bedroom type alarm clock from probably the 1890s or early 1900s.

Both need work to get them to run, but for the two of them it would be a minimum of $200, and likely closer to $300-$400.

Neither one is particularly valuable, so the only reason I'd want to get them working is nostalgia.
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« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2017, 07:51:11 AM »

I bought a wind-up alarm clock at China-Mart less than ten years ago.
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« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2017, 07:52:25 AM »

*Does anyone else remember calling "time" on the telephone, pre-NIST on the Interwebz? I wonder if that even exists anymore.

In answer to your question:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speaking_clock

Quote
In addition, the United States Naval Observatory operates two speaking clocks: in Washington, D.C. at +1 202 762 1401 or +1 202 762 1069, and in Colorado Springs, Colorado at +1 719 567 6742. The time as provided by Tellme voice portal is available by dialing non-toll-free number 408-752-8052.
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Mike Irwin
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« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2017, 07:56:12 AM »

A few years ago I got a digital weather station that has the time that is set automatically from the atomic clock. You can also buy a variety of desk and wall clocks that set themselves to the atomic clock.

That's neat, but your cell phone does exactly the same thing.


At one time there were also shortwave and ham band radio time check channels. I'll be damned, NIST still does it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WWV_(radio_station)
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Hawkmoon
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« Reply #23 on: March 15, 2017, 08:23:55 AM »


*Does anyone else remember calling "time" on the telephone, pre-NIST on the Interwebz? I wonder if that even exists anymore.

Yes.

Just tested it. Still works. Further evidence of the onset of Alzheimer's -- I still remember the number to call for the time: S-P-R-I-N-G-S (777-4647)
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Hawkmoon
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« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2017, 08:25:47 AM »

And your point?  ...

Oh, and I'm 43, so I don't know if that makes me a "youngster" or not. 

Chris

Q.E.D.
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